Under the Influence
Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” Unfortunately, Mr. Franklin’s statement wasn’t quite accurate—no disrespect intended. Influence is another aspect of this world that is certain.
Every person—past, present, and future—feels the effects of influence. Some are influenced by family and friends, others are influenced by their environment (be it natural, social, or political,) and still others are influenced by the times in which they live and the desire to change the world based on a radical idea (like self-governing freedom.) It is a simple fact that absolutely no one can escape influence. Even the actions of babies are due to the influence of their specific needs. The secret to influence is that if we don’t like our influences, in some cases, it is within our power to do something about it.
Pretty deep thoughts, huh?
If you talk to a writer, you will learn that, in addition to the aforementioned situations, our work is influenced by those writers who have come before us and even certain of our contemporaries. Among my own writing influences are Edgar Allen Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert E. Howard, Louis L’Amour and J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m also partial to the writers at the fan-fiction site www.5earths.info.
Whether they will admit it or not, down deep most writers hope to be listed among the influences of future generations of storytellers. I know I do. To be an eventual influence, however, we must write and we must do it well.
Just thought I would jot this down.